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Local, and Opinionated

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the Rhode Island media's failure to embrace the most compelling elements of the new media - aggregation, non-profit reporting, and the like. But that doesn't mean there's nothing interesting happening in the state. Far from it.

To wit: Progressive Charlestown. It's a small, rather bare bones web site. But it has a strong editorial voice: it's nakedly liberal and quite spunky. Take the headline from a post today: "Class war resumes: pay up to prop up absentee owner home values."

That tone sets it apart from the generally bland voice of local news outlets - even relatively new, web-based efforts like AOL's Patch. And the edge is welcome.

Of course, this sort of site could never replace the straightforward reporting of a middle-of-the-road, local paper. But for the moment, at least, we don't have to get overly worried about that prospect. Community papers, if weaker than they once were, are faring better than the big metro papers. And companies like AOL are aggressively pushing a brand of hyperlocal news that can fill some of the straight-news gaps.

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